Irish Denver

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Irish Denver
Series Title:
Irish Denver
Boyle, Leo J.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Source Institution:
Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Irish Denver | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 11:04:04 AM] Home Irish DenverIrish DenverSubmitted by nwharton on 7-11-2012 09:41 AMAuthor: Dennis Gallagher, Thomas Jacob Noel, and James Patrick Walsh Publishing: Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2012. 127 pages. Black-and-white photographs, bibliography, index. 9 x 6.5. $21.99 paperback. Reviewer: Leo J. Boyle The story of Colorados Irish immigrants and their offspring is engagingly told by Dennis Gallagher, who serves as Denvers city auditor, and history professors James Patrick Walsh and Tom Dr. Colorado Noel at the University of Colorado Denver. They trace the history of the sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle primarily through an impressive collection of photographs, many previously unpublished. Marginalized Irish toiled during the earliest years, the 1860s and 1870s, primarily as miners and common laborers in the construction of railroads and military forts. Many Irish-born women worked as domestic servants but quickly acquired the tastes and refinements of American-born society and transmitted these values to their children, who in turn became teachers, nurses, and pillars of respectable society. Like many other immigrant groups, the Irish were drawn to America and Colorado to take advantage of opportunities not available in the old country. While John Campion, J. J. Brown, and Tom Walsh are legendary for striking it rich, the vast majority of the Irish miners did not find their pot of gold. After enduring dangerous, underpaid work, many of them formed the backbone of the fledgling labor movement. In organizing, the Irish had one great advantage over many immigrant populations in their command of the English language. Michael Mooney, Dublin-born leader of the Miners Cooperative Union, launched the first major labor action in 1880 in Leadville. Joe Murray, another Dubliner, led the Knights of Labor. Irish-born Edward Boyce presided over the Western Federation of Miners, and Irish-American John Sullivan helped found the Western Labor Union. The contribution of the Irish to Colorado went beyond pursuit of wealth. The Isle of Saints and Scholars sent its sons and daughters to minister to the intellectual and physical well-being of the people of the state. Denvers first schoolmaster and first superintendent of public of education was an Irishman, Owen J. Goldrick, born in County Sligo. The Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Charity, and the Franciscan Sisters founded hospitals in Leadville, Durango, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, Denver, and elsewhere. These pious women were true angels of mercy in communities known for an almost Darwinian ethic of survival of the fittest. No one was turned away from these hospitals because of an inability to pay, or for creed or color. St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, founded in 1874 by the predominantly Irish Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, continues to this day as one of the citys leading providers of health care to all in need. EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWhile on the Dominguez-Escalante expedition in 1776, Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco drew the first map of Colorado.


Irish Denver | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 11:04:04 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Educational institutions founded or staffed primarily by Irish and Irish-American religious orders educated thousands of children all over the state, particularly in Denver. Regis College and Regis Jesuit High School, founded by Italian Jesuits but staffed largely by Irish-American Jesuits, have been part of Denvers educational landscape since 1887. The Sisters of Loretto established St. Marys Academy in 1864 and Loretto Heights College in the nineteenth century for the education of Catholic girls and young ladies. Catholic grade schools and high schools blossomed all over the city of Denver, staffed largely by Irish Catholic nuns, priests, and brothers. The Irish often felt the sting of rejection and marginalization, primarily the Irish Catholics, especially during the 1920s heyday of the Kolorado Ku Klux Klan. Marginalization and rejection gradually gave way to assimilation, acceptance, and integration as the Irish exercised their gift for politics to achieve elected office. Denver had Irish mayors in its early years, but not Catholic Irish mayors until the 1963 election of Tom Currigan. Steve McNichols became Colorados first Irish Catholic governor in 1957, indicating that Celtic mackerel snappers had achieved acceptance. Irish-born and Irish-American Coloradans have been sources of pride and leadership. J. K. Mullen, a Galway-born flour miller, became a philanthropist responsible for Mullen High School, Mullen Home for the Aged, and other charities. Margaret Brown, dubbed the Unsinkable Molly Brown in a 1960s musical and movie, achieved fame in the Titanic disaster and also for her support of Catholic charities and the womens movement. Irish Denver is a fine history of a people who came to this state seeking an opportunity to enjoy the American dream of freedom and prosperity. Reviewer Info: Leo James Boyle is a fourth-generation Irish Coloradan whose family came to Denver from County Kerry in 1883. The family founded and operated the North Denver Transfer and Storage Company in 1902 and ran it for over seventy-five years. Boyle graduated from St. James Elementary School, Regis Jesuit High School, and the University of Denver where he majored in economics. He worked for Lieutenant Governor Mark Hogan and since 1971 as a lobbyist with the Colorado state legislature.